Body-shamed poet woos at Bristol Old Vic

THE cast of Cyrano, coming to Bristol Old Vic from 12th October to 16th November,   could be described as a “Bristol all-stars team”.

Artistic director Tom Morris directs this production of Edmond Rostand’s original play, adapted in verse by Peter Oswald. It stars Tristan Sturrock in the title role, leading a cast of seven, six of whom live in the South West.

It’s the first time in six years that Tristan has been on the Bristol Old Vic stage. A much-loved local actor, he has created some of the theatre’s most memorable characters including Peter Pan , Long John Silver in the outdoor production of Treasure Island, and The Messiah in Tom Morris’ staged version of Handel’s most famous oratorio for Bristol Proms 2013. He has performed in Knee­high productions including Tristan and Yseult, Alex Harvey in the London and Broad­way productions of Brief Encoun­ter and Maxim de Winter in Rebecca. Tristan was also Zacky Martin in all five series of Poldark.

In Cyrano. the role of the arrogant aristocrat De Guiche is played by Felix Hayes – Dad in the Olivier Award-winning production of A Monster Calls, Scrooge in Tom Morris’ adaptation of A Christmas Carol and Rochester in Sally Cookson’s Jane Eyre, which began at Bristol Old Vic.

Miltos Yerolemou, unforgettable as Bottom in Tom Morris’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, returns as the beloved, bumbling pastry-cook Raguneau. Miltos was also in Game of Thrones as sword-master Syrio Forel.

The poetically-challenged but handsome Christian will be played by Patrycja Kujawska, recently seen in the Kneehigh tour of Dead Dog in a Suitcase, who was Queen Angelica in the BOV musical The Grinning Man. She was as Lady Atalanta in Emma Rice’s Wise Children.

Le Bret is played by Guy Hughes, recently Andrew Ague­­cheek in BPV’s co-production of Twelfth Night. Guy is also musical director for Cyrano.

The Bristol contingent is joined by Cornish Giles King, well-known to audiences from Kneehigh productions such as Dead Dog in a Suitcase, Tristan and Yseult and Hansel and Gretel.

Sara Powell, seen in Tom Morris’s The Crucible, ret­urns to Bristol as the  beguiling Roxane.

The play with music tells of Cyrano’s love for the beautiful Roxane. But while she is beautiful, he is cursed with a gigantic nose, so he knows she won’t reciprocate.

He writes tender, elegant and  beseeching love letters, but he won’t send them. Along comes Christian, who looks like an angel but is as thick as two short planks. A plan suggests itself to Cyrano – but it is a very risky strategy.

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